2/3 had always been, he was sure, her real being, and now she was merely achieving it in its perfection of negativity and rejection. But once she did say, " Your mother was a beautiful young girl." When she said that, Percy Mumi, who had never before realized, actually, that his mother once had been young, was moved so that tears came to his eyes. His mother now was not old, but she was ageless, it seemed. A widow, she ran the farm competently, and prayed much. She was taciturn and cold, except for those rare moments when, with a kind of shameless unveiling of the spirit, she tried devour- ingly and terrifyingly to seize upon her son's love, or at least to establish some communication with him. At those moments, embarrassed, he could never respond, and so she would turn coldly again upon herself; and when he, in turn, would try to penetrate to her, her withdrawal would be com- plete. When Miss Sprague spoke, he saw his mother as she was now, and, on the instant, as she had been, surely, that summer, young and expectant, poised at the edge of the long hotel veranda, listening to music or watching the men at bowls. He felt that he, almost, could look into her eyes as she stood. In the thought of his mother, there was pathos; but in Miss Sprague, none. She lived, in this overheated, motionless air that reeked of camphor, as in her true medium. This was her triumph. After the second visit, during which the conversation waned to a slow repetition of the details of bis train trip, the weather in southern Kentucky, and the furnishings of the room which he had rented, he proposed that he should bring some- thing to read aloud to her. She said that she would be grate- ful. When he asked her what he should bring, she replied, " Anything." He bought a sentimental novel, feeling certain of his choice. But he had not been reading for ten minutes before he knew that her attention was wandering. She peered at this object in the room, and then at that, and breathed unevenly. He continued to read* for an hour or so.